Please use this blog to help us remember Joshua Lee Anderson, who made the tragic and fatal decision to take his life on Wednesday, March 18, 2009. Please post any memories or thoughts you may have in the comments.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Thoughts for grieving parents from Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet

In these two plays, the loss and pain of grieving parents is captured by Shakespeare with succinctness and compassion.  I find the words relevant and authentic which attests to Shakespeare's ability to connect and convey deep human emotion using his unparalleled mastery of the English language.

The following two quotes are taken from Macbeth.

These words are spoke to Macduff by a fellow Scottish nobleman after they are told of the horrific murders of Macduff's wife and children at Macbeth's command. These two sentences articulate why I write in my journal and on this blog.  See this post for more thoughts.
Give sorrow words.  The grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'refraught heart and bids it break (IV, III, 211-212).
In the last battle of the play, a father loses his son.  These words articulate why a parent's sorrow over the loss of a treasured child will never cease. 
Your cause of sorrow
Must not be measured by his worth, for then
It hath no end (V, VIII, 44-46).
In Act IV, Scene V of Romeo and Juliet, the anguish expressed by Juliet's parents along with her nurse when they find her "dead" ring true.  

Capulet - Juliet's father
She's cold.
Her blood is settled, and her joints are stiff.
Life and these lips have long been separated.
Death lies on her like an untimely frost
Upon the sweetest flower of all the field. 
Death, that hath taken her hence to make me wail,
Ties up my tongue and will not let me speak. 
Death is my son-in-law.  Death is my heir.
My daughter he hath wedded.  I will die,
And leave him all.  Life, living, all is Death's.
O child, O child!  My soul, and not my child!
Dead art thou!  Alack, my child's death,
And with my child my joys are buried. 
Lady Capulet - Juliet's mother
Accursed, unhappy, wretched, hateful day!
Most miserable hour that e'er time saw
In lasting labor of his pilgrimage.
But one, poor one, one poor and loving child,
But one thing to rejoice and solace in.
And cruel death that catches it from my sight!
O woe!  O woeful, woeful, woeful day!
Most lamentable day, most woeful day
That ever, ever, I did yet behold!
O day, O day, O day, O hateful day!
Never was seen so black a day as this.
O woeful day, O woeful day!
What stands out to me is the repetition of words.  This makes me think back to that horrible morning when I found Josh.   My brain froze and these phrases looped over and over in my mind for hours and even days: "I can't believe this is happening.....this is just a bad dream.....this can't be happening to us.....why, Josh, why?"

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